Academic Societies and Academic Sites Supporting Mission Research
by A. Scott Moreau and Mike O’Rear
Most of the sites referenced in this article are focused on evangelical and Protestant Christian mission, and we’ve included a few Roman Catholic sites of particular value for evangelicals.
Missiology, according to the American Society of Missiology, “is the science of mission which combines intercultural studies, anthropology, history, cross-cultural communications, and theology.” In this edition of Missions on the Web, we look at missiological societies and academic sites that provide significant online missiological research resources. Point your browser to www.mislinks.org/research/societies.htm,1 where you can click on links to the sites mentioned in this article. For related sites, see the MisLinks pages on academic research (www.mislinks.org/research) and on associations of mission agencies (www.mislinks.org/practical/assoc.htm).
Most of the sites referenced in this article are focused on evangelical and Protestant Christian mission, and we’ve included a few Roman Catholic sites of particular value for evangelicals. They are grouped here by the geographic region in which they are based and/or around which their content revolves; some sites that are difficult to locate within a specific region appear under Global. In each region, we first identify key mission societies, followed by other academic sites.
Latin American Theological Fraternity (FTL; www.fratela.org) is an association “committed to the evangelical life and mission of God’s people in Latin America.” It focuses on promoting reflection on the gospel and its significance to people and society in Latin America, providing a platform for dialogue between Christians, and contributing to the life and mission of evangelical churches in Latin America. The website (in Spanish) includes contact people, news, notices, a page of links, and a description of publications.
Brazilian Association of Cross-Cultural Missions (AMTB; www.amtb.org.br) offers online access to significant missiological research in Portuguese. It links to Instituto Antropos (www.instituto.antropos.com.br), providing consulting and research in areas of anthropology, missiology, and linguistics, along with online articles and journals in missiology and anthropology. It also links to the Association of Mission Professors in Brazil (APMB; www.apmb.org.br), which has online journals and abstracts of publications for sale.
Latin American Ecumenical Network of Missiologists (RELAMI; www.missiologia.org.br) offers a good collection of links, articles, and documents, and an extensive bibliography—primarily from a Latin American Catholic missionary perspective.
The Integral Mission section of the Micah Network website has an extensive online Resource Library (www.micahnetwork.org/en/page/resource-library), as well as reading lists, bibliographies, articles, and documents on topics such as integral mission, social transformation, and Two-Thirds World theology (www.micahnetwork.org/en/integral-mission/academic-cluster).
Red Del Camino (www.lareddelcamino.net/es) provides PDF versions of articles and books (in Spanish) on integral mission.
Southern African Missiological Society (missiological.org.za) holds an annual congress and publishes the journal Missionalia, which contains articles, book reviews, and abstracts from a wide range of missiological journals. The website features a Missionalia archive, related news and blogs, and a page of links to other associations, journals, and blogs.
The Organization of African Instituted Churches (www.oaic.org) is the association of African Independent, Instituted, or African-founded Churches (AICs). Its website is currently under redevelopment; the earlier version included information about AICs, a description of the organization’s major programs, and a variety of PDF documents for download.
Theology in Africa (www.theologyinafrica.com) is a rich site of online articles, collections, bibliographies, research papers, and conference papers.
Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture (formerly Akrofi-Christaller Memorial Centre for Mission Studies; www.acighana.org) is “a scholarly institution established by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to serve the wider Christian community in Ghana and Africa.” It focuses on research and publication, and its website provides information on the institute’s people, programs, and resources.
The extensive Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB; www.dacb.org), a ministry of the Overseas Ministries Study Center, includes nearly two thousand entries in its index.
Maryknoll Institute of African Studies (MIAS; www.mias.edu), a Catholic school in Nairobi, has an online listing of its students’ field research projects and abstracts of approved Masters in Arts theses.
Asian Society of Missiology (asianmissiology.net and asianmissiology.org) exists “to serve Asian churches and mission for the implementation of the Great Commission and most effectively through research and academic discussions.” Its websites include a wealth of online articles, a journal, and conference papers.
Center for the Study of Christianity in Asia (www.ttc.edu.sg/csca/csca.htm), the mission research arm of the ecumenical Trinity Theological College in Singapore, aims to be a gateway to mission studies in Southeast Asia. It provides extensive collections of electronic publications, including occasional papers, a theological reader, local church history projects, lists of doctoral and master degree dissertations, bibliographies, and much more.
Korea Research Institute for Missions (KRIM; krim.org/2007/english.html) seeks “to help Korean churches and mission agencies with missionary research and education needed for intercultural ministry as part of world evangelization”; it has a few online articles in English, and more in Korean.
Asia Harvest (www.asiaharvest.org) provides excellent people profiles from twenty-one Asian countries.
Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity (www.bdcconline.net/en), modeled after the Dictionary of African Christian Biography, records “the life stories of significant figures in Chinese Christianity across the centuries and around the world.”
David Cho Missiological Institute (www.dcmi.co.kr) has online archives of official mission documents, historical statements, and publications; you can also download spreadsheets of audio and video lecture files—however, these files do not appear to be accessible online.
Kuai Mu Institute for Christianity and World Cultures (christthetao.homestead.com), David Marshall’s Asian-oriented apologetics site, has valuable articles and essays, annotated book lists, and reviews.
The Center for the Study of Christianity at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (www.csc.huji.ac.il/OldApplication/gold_content.html) offers substantial online research resources on Armenian studies, Jewish history, and comparative religion.
Australian Association for Mission Studies (formerly South Pacific Association for Mission Studies; www.groupsthatclick.com/aams) provides a set of PDF papers from its 2008 conference.
Aotearoa New Zealand Society for Mission Studies (www.missionstudies.org/archive/anzams) has extensive sets of online abstracts and papers from its annual conferences.
German Society for Mission Studies (Deutsche Gemeinschaft für Missionswissenschaft; www.dgmw.org) has both German and English websites. The society hosts conferences, promotes research projects, and edits a series of publications and a journal. The website includes abstracts of substantial publications for sale and a valuable page of links to schools and organizations offering missiological resources.
Association of Protestant Churches and Missions in Germany (Evangelisches Missionswerk in Deutschland; EMW) has an English language website (www.emw-d.de/en.root/index.html) that includes a searchable catalog of a reference library of 29,000 volumes and 375 periodicals, and an online article archive (mostly in German).
British and Irish Association for Mission Studies (www.martynmission.cam.ac.uk/BIAMSAbout.htm) provides online access to its newsletter archive and conference papers.
Association Francophone Œcuménique de Missiologie (www.afom.org) includes abstracts of key publications and an online directory of francophone missiological research sites.
The Gospel and Our Culture (www.gospel-culture.org.uk), initiated by Lesslie Newbigin, focuses on the mission of Jesus Christ to Western culture with a network of programs, activities, and services. The website has a wealth of online articles, past newsletters, quotations, and annotated reading lists of hundreds of articles and books.
Mundus gateway to missionary collections in the United Kingdom (www.mundus.ac.uk) is “a web-based guide to more than four hundred collections of overseas missionary materials held in the United Kingdom,” including the archives of British missionary societies and collections of personal papers.
Missionary Periodicals Database (research.yale.edu:8084/missionperiodicals) “aims to record all periodicals on foreign missions published in Britain between the eighteenth century and the 1960s by missionary societies and commercial publishers, giving full bibliographical details, information on contents, and locations.” You can browse the contents by region, by periodical title, and by searching for specific terms.
Nova Research Centre at Redcliffe College (www.novaresearch.eu) focuses on research for evangelical mission outreach in Europe and provides an online European Mission Database, a major report on European migration, and relevant news reports.
The Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (www.ocms.ac.uk) offers online thesis abstracts from OCMS graduates, extensive lecture notes and reports, and information about its programs.
Keston Institute (www.keston.org.uk) is a leading source for the history of religion in East and Central Europe and the former USSR. Its website has an online archive of the Keston Newsletter and the Keston News Service, as well as comprehensive indexes of the main articles published in Religion in Communist Lands, Religion State and Society, and Frontier Magazine.
The East-West Church & Ministry Report (www.eastwestreport.org), which seeks to provide “a balanced and objective examination of all aspects of church life and mission outreach in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe,” offers an online archive of the report.
Henry Martyn Centre for the study of mission and world Christianity (www.martynmission.cam.ac.uk) has an online library catalog of 4,500 books.
Crowther Centre for Mission Education (www.cms-uk.org/Resources/CrowtherCentrehome/tabid/190/language/en-GB/Default.aspx) in Oxford houses the excellent CMS library; its website has a few online articles.
Intercultural (www.intercultural.dk), an online “resource for intercultural and interfaith relations and studies,” has articles (in Danish) on mission, missional church, religion, Islam, and conversion.
Global Connections has a rich array of online materials in its Resources section (www.globalconnections.co.uk/resources), including an extensive mission issues library, a media library, missional perspectives articles, and resource reviews. Of particular interest is the link to the entire set of volumes from the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference now online at the University of Michigan (quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=genpub;idno=1936337).
American Society of Missiology (www.asmweb.org), “the ecumenical professional association for mission studies in North America” with more than six hundred members, has a page of links to missiology research sites, its journal Missiology (available online for a subscription fee), and a news board which advertises events and positions available.
Association of Professors of Mission (www.asmweb.org/apm) is “comprised of mission professors and academics from Evangelical, Conciliar, and Catholic backgrounds committed to the common cause of teaching mission well.” The website offers mission-related syllabi and a page of links to teaching resources.
United States Catholic Mission Association (www.uscatholicmission.org) provides a variety of online articles and documents related to cross-cultural mission and current topics.
Evangelical Missiological Society (emsweb.org), a professional society with more than 350 members, offers online information about the society, its conferences and regional chapters, a page of links to online missiological resources, an online archive of its Occasional Bulletin, a list of recent books by EMS members, and links to purchase EMS books.
Gospel and Our Culture Network (North America; www.gocn.org) exists “to provide useful research regarding the encounter between the gospel and our culture, and to encourage local action for transformation in the life and witness of the church.” Click the Resources tab on the website to access valuable collections of online articles, newsletters, and summaries of the Gospel and Our Culture Series of books published by Eerdmans.
Overseas Ministries Study Center (OMSC; www.omsc.org) gives access to a searchable database of over six thousand doctoral dissertations on mission since 1900, an audio library of OMSC lectures, the subscription-based International Bulletin of Missionary Research (www.internationalbulletin.org), and the free online Dictionary of African Christian Biography (www.dacb.org).
Wheaton College offers a variety of valuable online missiological research resources. Billy Graham Center Archives (www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/collectn.html) provides both an alphabetical listing and a searchable database for the guides to its extensive archives collections.
Also, see the online Directory of Mission Archives Housed at Mission Schools (www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/ema/ survey.html). Professor Scott Moreau’s annotated Contextualization Bibliographies are online (www.wheaton.edu/intr/Moreau/courses/532/biblio/books.htm). And we hope you know that a minimal subscription fee gives you direct access to over forty-five years of Evangelical Missions Quarterly archives at EMQonline (www.emisdirect.com).
The Network for Strategic Missions Knowledgebase (www.strategicnetwork.org/index.php?loc=kb) connects you to sixteen thousand articles from leading journals (access to premium articles requires a $20/year subscription). Also, see Missiopedia (www.strategicnetwork.org/wiki), “an open source manual and encyclopedia of mission information.”
Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin College (www.calvin.edu/nagel) works to promote a deeper understanding of Christian movements from the global South and East and to “provoke a reorientation of Christian thought and cultural expression in the global North toward the concerns of world Christianity.” Its website offers online audio presentations and lectures, profiles of institutes and study centers around the world which focus on the study of world Christianity, and descriptions of its programs and partners.
Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (www.gcts.edu/lifelong_learners/globalchristianity) offers the extensive, subscription-based World Christian Database (www.worldchristiandatabase.org/wcd), “a statistical overview of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians and their activities” (www.gcts.edu/sites/default/files/IBMR2009.pdf), and a set of global diagrams, commentary, maps, tables, and lists. Mission InfoBank (www.missioninfobank.org), hosted by Global Mapping International, provides an online resource library and an extensive global database.
The Missions and World Christianity section of the Yale University Divinity School Library (www.library.yale.edu/div/missions.htm) offers a wealth of online indexes and abstracts, reference tools and bibliographies, journals, and links to valuable websites and archives.
Boston University Center for Global Christianity and Mission (sthweb.bu.edu/cgcm) and the related History of Missiology site (digilib.bu.edu/mission) provide many online scanned documents, including a collection of several hundred missionary biographies and over 1,200 books. Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School (www.hds.harvard.edu/cswr) offers an extensive lecture series with online audio and video, a few online papers, and a complete catalog of CSWR books.
The Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary (macdonald.hartsem.edu) has numerous online articles to challenge “scholars, students, the media, and the general public to move beyond stereotypes and develop an accurate awareness and appreciation of Islamic religion, law, and culture.” SIL (www.sil.org) offers valuable online documents, including a series of e-Books authored by SIL staff on “linguistics, sociolinguistics, anthropology, translation, literacy and education, language and culture learning, and computer applications to those endeavors.”
International Society for Frontier Missiology (www.ijfm.org/isfm) links to its International Journal of Frontier Missiology (www.ijfm.org) with full archives online.
Global Missiology.org (globalmissiology.org), “a quarterly publication of contributions from international researchers, practitioners, and scholars who have a global perspective,” offers free online articles.
North American Missions.org (northamericanmissions.org), dedicated to the multiplication of leaders and churches throughout North America, provides podcasts, articles, and book reviews.
International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS; missionstudies.org) has information about IAMS projects, extensive lists of missiological societies, missiological journals, mission databases, archives collections, mission research libraries, and other resources.
World Council of Churches (www.oikoumene.org/en/resources.html) provides a searchable collection of hundreds of official WCC documents and statements, online versions of Ecumenical Review and Transformation journals, and an annotated list of WCC publications.
World Evangelical Alliance (www.worldevangelicals.org) Mission Commission has traditionally offered valuable free online books, articles, and newsletters; as of this writing, it is in the process of redesigning its resources site.
The Lausanne Movement (www.lausanne.org/documents.html) offers online numerous Occasional Papers and other major documents related to international church and mission work. The Lausanne Researchers International Network (www.lrin.org) has online papers from its 2008 conference.
Lutheran Society for Missiology (www.lsfmissiology.org), “a society of Lutherans who are interested in the Apostolic mission of God in today’s world,” has online articles, newsletters, and missionary letters.
Center for Study of the Life and Work of William Carey (www.wmcarey.edu/carey) provides online bibliographies and full text of books and articles by and about William Carey. Newbigin.Net (www.newbigin.net) offers a “searchable database concerned with the writings and life of Bishop J. E. Lesslie Newbigin. It includes both a comprehensive bibliography of his writings and a wide-ranging collection of texts written by him—over two hundred in all.
Social Scientific Studies of Missions (www.sompsite.com) provides extensive bibliographies of articles and books on the sociology of missions. Theological Research Exchange Network (www.tren.com) offers “a database of over 6,800 theological theses/dissertations and conference papers;” browse or search for mission-related topics. Adherents.com (www.adherents.com) is “a growing collection of over 43,870 adherent statistics and religious geography citations” for over 4,200 religious groups.
Finally, as always, we encourage you to send us suggestions for additional links and keep checking back to find the latest updates to this MisLinks page (www.mislinks.org/research/societies.htm).
1. All websites begin with http:// unless otherwise noted.
A. Scott Moreau is editor of EMQ and a professor in the Intercultural Studies department at Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, Ill.). His email address is A.S.Moreau@wheaton.edu, and the Wheaton Missions Department web address is www.wheaton.edu/intr. Mike O’Rear is the president of Global Mapping International (Colorado Springs, Colo.), which is dedicated to providing access to information for church and mission leaders, especially in the Two-thirds World. His email address is email@example.com, and the GMI web address is www.gmi.org.
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